3 Reds who are in danger of losing their 40-man roster spot

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama readies in the batters' box.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama readies in the batters' box. / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Cincinnati Reds pitcher Riley O'Brien (57) delivers during a spring training game.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Riley O'Brien (57) delivers during a spring training game. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

3. Reds RHP Riley O'Brien is in danger of losing his roster spot.

Riley O'Brien's uninspiring start on Friday against the Los Angeles Angels may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. O'Brien allowed three runs on five hits over two innings of work, and while he did strikeout perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout, O'Brien's body of work this spring just might not cut it.

O'Brien has appeared in three games and pitched in four innings. The right-hander does have four strikeouts, but four runs on six hits isn't very encouraging. O'Brien spent almost the entire 2021 season at Triple-A Louisville, though the former Tampa Bay Rays farmhand did make his MLB debut in September last season.

Against the vaunted Chicago White Sox lineup, O'Brien lasted just 1.1 innings and allowed two solo home runs while walking three batters and striking out two. O'Brien was lifted after one time through the White Sox batting order.

Riley O'Brien, a former seventh-round draft pick of the Rays, came to Cincinnati in the deal that saw Cody Reed traded to Tampa Bay in 2020. The Cincinnati Reds coaching staff still hasn't decided whether or not O'Brien is a starter or reliever.

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I believe Cincinnati would like to keep O'Brien in the organization, but given how the roster looks to be constructed, that might not be feasible. O'Brien can get strikeouts, but the right-hander also has a tendency to put runners on base. O'Brien had a walk-rate of 11.2% and a 4.39 BB/9 with Triple-A Louisville last season.